Herring, Pacific sandlance and surf smelt are the most abundant forage fishes in the Strait of Georgia. Forage fish are an essential food for salmon smolts growing in estuaries and returning adult salmon. Sand lance and surf smelt require near-shore habitats for survival, but departments approving development permits lack up-to-date information and are largely unaware of the impact of shoreline development on the survival of forage fish.
Research for long-term policy change
In BC, little has been done to inform land-use policies to protect these crucial beach habitats. Already, vast areas of shoreline in southern British Columbia have been altered and historical spawning grounds lost. That’s why the Pacific Salmon Foundation is partnering with BC Shore Spawners Alliance through the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project to identify where forage fish are laying eggs.
Leveraging community resources
The BC Shore Spawners Alliance already has an army of forage fish specialists and community volunteers working to protect the ecosystems of forage fish. Partnering will help bridge information gaps affecting salmon abundance for the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project while helping fund important restoration work already being done.
We have already raised $8 million of the budgeted $10 million needed to complete important projects like this. We need your help to close the $2 million gap. If you donate by December 31, your tax-deductible donation will be matched! To encourage supporters like you to give at this time, Bob Gayton, Knelson Family Foundation, Westcoasters and Peetz Manufacturing are matching donations donated by December 31, 2014 dollar for dollar up to $50,000.